A novel about self-awareness
Onezero: Who are you?
Onezero: I think I am Onezero.
A wake for the undead
Omar awoke. Instantly alert, he lifted his head out of the oh so soft pillow, just far enough to register that the room was dark. He went effortlessly back to sleep.
About an hour later, he came more slowly to consciousness and saw that it was still very dark. Feeling around for his mobile phone, he located it under one of the many, many pillows. The display told him that it was 07:43 and that he had three missed calls. He went back to sleep.
As he drifted off again, one small part of his brain was protesting. More alert, more paranoid or more intelligent than the rest of him, it felt that something was amiss. But it could not figure this out on its own and sought to convince the rest of Omar’s mind to aid it in discovering what was wrong. If nothing else it would have like to open his eyes to have another look around. But Omar was not good in the mornings and the majority of his consciousness was already back in dreamland.
In a bar.
It was a great bar, large, dark and unpretentious with wood panelling and bare floorboards. Everyone was friendly and exuberant. And yet there was something hanging over them all. Omar was drinking fearsomely strong Black Russians served in huge tumblers. His companions, none of whom he knew, were finding him witty and engaging. His jokes were more like comic monologues as he held forth with great bonhomie and fellow-feeling. He was having such a good time that he kept forgetting that this was all a dream. A light sleeper at the best of times, Omar floated along just under the surface of consciousness, benefiting from very vivid, almost lucid dreams. His sleep was even more disturbed and his dreams more intense. The previous night Omar had been drinking heavily.
Meanwhile, the barman was not refilling his drink. He seemed to have forgotten how to make a Black Russian. Omar was gesturing at the appropriate bottles but it was proving futile. Either they were empty or the barman would forget he was there. Even climbing over the bar did not work, he had trouble reaching the optics. Then he distracted himself trying to get the ice cubes to stay in his glass. Now the optics seemed to have jammed and none of the other bottles would open. The frustration woke him up.
He was very hot. It was still dark. Which was strange. This was not his bed. That was strange too. His phone informed him that it was now 08:26 and there was another missed call. Neither of these facts bothered him much. Looking around the unfamiliar room, he saw that heavy curtains were preventing the daylight from troubling him. Sensing a hang-over creeping up on him, he thanked them for this service. It was a very luxurious room. Besides the soft pillows in their pristine white cotton pillow-cases, the bed was made with real sheets; smooth soft and expensive sheets. It was covered with a heavy brocade bedspread. He reflected that it was sleeping under this that had made him hot. This and the fact that he was still wearing his clothes from the night before. That was not so uncommon. He was wearing a suit. That was unusual. Still he could not retrieve the information about how he came to be here. And consequentially had no idea where he was. So he went to look for the toilet.